“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” --- Joseph Campbell
True gifts in life do not come wrapped and arrive when least expected. We were blessed to have that experience and are now grieving the loss of that gift. This person bearing many gifts made a perfect entrance and a perfect exit. She blessed us with many invaluable lessons on how to move on in life in spite of many adversities.
Twenty-seven years ago we hosted a meeting for spiritual enrichment in our home. The guest speaker had to reschedule the date, so we called everyone registered to attend. We somehow missed calling one person that we had never met. Of course she showed up right on time the evening of the scheduled event. We were so embarrassed that we had not called her but asked her to come in for a cup of coffee. That was the beginning of a long friendship. As it turned out we shared many of the same passions, a love to travel, to read and discuss books on personal and spiritual growth and attend workshops. We shared an enthusiasm about new experiences and encouraged others to do the same.
The experience of how she entered into our life confirms my belief that there are no mistakes. We could have allowed our embarrassment that evening to brush her off with a quick apology and brief “See you next week.” Once we opened the door everything changed. As I reflect on this experience, I realize the lesson for me is to let go of control and allow the gifts of life to flow into open doors with ease.
Last week this friend received and accepted the invitation from God to join him for a lifetime of eternal bliss. The closing of her door to this life gave us a role model for a perfect ending. The final three weeks of her life somewhat eases the pain of her departure.
On some level she must had known her time here was coming to an end. She called and said she would like to come over for lunch. She had to drive thirty miles to get to our house and traveled with an oxygen tank in her car. We sat and visited for several hours. During lunch she stopped, put her fork down, looked at us with tear-filled eyes and said she wanted us to know how much she valued our friendship and loved us dearly. Her birthday was the next week. Typical of her style, she planned her own celebration and invited family and friends to join her for breakfast. As we concluded the meal she went around the table and told each person the qualities she appreciated in them and how much they meant to her.
One week later she was in the hospital. In just a few days hospice was brought in. Years ago she had prepared a list of people she wanted called should it be evident that she was departing. She wanted to let them know how much they were loved and appreciated in her life. Her door to this life closed a few hours after all calls were made.
Her presence will be missed but the life lessons she taught will make the world a better place. Focus on the positive, encourage others to become their best, support one another in their dreams and passions in life and do not let adversity stop you. She faced many trials and obstacles, but she continued to move forward in faith and trust.
People function better when they know that they are appreciated. That person may be a friend, a parent, a sibling or a stranger that knocks on your door. You may want to take some time during the next few days to let people in your life know what you value about them.